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Cross Country teams dominate district finals, advance to regionals

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The Lockhart Lions and Lady Lions Cross Country teams proved on Saturday why Lockhart”s cross country program is legendary. The boys” teams swept the competition for the 17th straight year, and earned first place team finishes in each of the three boys divisions. The girls” teams fought their way to the top of the heap, placing second in both varsity and junior varsity divis

ions.

The Lions varsity squad was led to a 33-35 victory over Vista Ridge by Christopher West, who ran the 3.4-mile course in 18:11, finishing second overall.

Nick Yunkin earned a sixth-place finish with his time of 18:52 and was followed closely by seventh-place runner Justin Platt, who finished in 19:34. Rory Tunningly and Brian Fernandez rounded out Lockhart”s top five finishers, placing eighth and 10th, respectively. Clay Culpepper and Jonathan Fitzgerald also ran with the varsity team and contributed to the victory with 12th- and 18th- place finishes.

Moments before the Varsity Lions began their race, the Varsity Lady Lions finished their two-mile journey toward the regionals.

The Lady Lions finished a close second to Vista Ridge.

Freshman Elizabeth Garcia completed the two-mile course in 12:13 and turned in a sixth-place finish. Junior Tami Warner and freshman Livi Massey finished the course on Garcia”s heels with seventh- and eighth-place finishes in 12:21 and 12:23, respectively.

Freshman Alyson Daily and junior Courtney Lee rounded out the Lady Lions” top five. According to coach Lee Datesman, both Daily and Lee have consistently improved their speeds this season, with Daily taking nearly a minute off her total time for this course.

Datesman also credited senior Jenna Allen and sophomore Ashley Simon for their performances.

The JV Lions, who swept the top six places of the race, beat their nearest opponent, Elgin, with a score of 20-35. They were led to finish line by Nick Moctezuma, who turned in a time of 19:15. His teammates Sean Smith, James Silva, Frankie Rodriguez and Scott Woody finished second, third, fourth and fifth, to round out Lockhart”s top five. James Saldana finished five seconds behind in sixth place. Richard Ascerno finished 24th and completed the Lions” competitive team.

At the Junior Varsity level, the Lady Lions pooled their energy and strengths for a second-place team finish.

Freshman Naomi Oliva dominated the race, finishing first with a time of 13:06. Oliva was followed by another freshman, Ardath Casteel, who finished ninth.

“[She] was followed with good races from a host of ladies,” said Datesman. She recognized Nicole Herrera, Christina Amaya, Maggie Anchondo, Sarah Mills and Ashlyn Spring for their efforts in securing the Lady Lions” position in district.

The Lions, who were joined by a lone female runner from Vista Ridge, ran nearly alone in the freshman division.

In an effort to enhance the stamina of the basketball and soccer teams, freshman coaches decided to add basketball and soccer athletes to the award-winning cross country team.

Led by Scotty Castanon”s individual championship and 10:37 finish, the Lions swept the top ten positions in the two-mile race. The Lion runners were John Gonzales, Gabe Atwell, Ryan Carrasco, Ceasar Martinez, Ty Hanna, Jonathan Hernandez, Jordan Delgado, Jonathan Farias and Oscar Hernandez.

The varsity Lions and Lady Lions will travel to San Antonio on Saturday, Nov. 6 for regional championships.

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